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Poster: light into ashes Date: Apr 20, 2011 1:29pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Out of the closet

Pigpen's not well-represented on video. In the 4/17/72 show, he's actually quite weak. And in the Festival Express film from '70 he's also fairly sedate.
If we had film from those all-night Fillmore East or Port Chester shows where the audience would be howling all through Lovelight, I think it would be easier to understand Pigpen's strength.

Blair Jackson said, "It's hard to explain Pigpen's magic to deadheads who never saw him perform, who never saw him work a crowd. Tapes don't capture his essence, because a lot of it was the way he moved and the way the band grooved behind him... He had an incredibly powerful presence."
Jon McIntire: "I don't know if the younger deadheads can get Pigpen, because the documents aren't really there... When you watched Pigpen playing the crowd - and he played the crowd very well in those raps - he did it in such a way that he evoked a very warm response."
Bob Weir: "You had to see his cute little dance steps and stuff like that to catch the whole impact of the Mighty Pig."
(Phil Lesh suggested that maybe it was one of Pigpen's little dances that got the audience hooting in the 8/6/71 Hard to Handle, though I'd like to believe it was Garcia.)

Jackson's description of his first Lovelight: "He danced a little dance, and the band started building a ferocious R&B groove behind him. The jam rose and receded a few more times - and finally he led the band into the big, big buildup at the end, shouting and screaming and testifying. 'Little bit higher! Shine on me! Turn on your lovelight!' And on it went until it exploded into a blast of noisy chords and drumshots and feedback that just about ripped the top of my head off, leaving me sweaty and breathless. I guess you can say it worked."

Then again, you could argue that an audience of stoned teens in 1970 might not have been too discriminating.

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Poster: unclejohn52 Date: Apr 20, 2011 2:00pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Out of the closet

I'll have to take it on faith... thank you sir.